After six months of living in the DC suburbs, I finally made it to Politics and Prose, probably the most famous indie bookstore in DC. And I don't know why I waited so long ... it's actually not that far from my house, it has free parking in the back, and most importantly, the book selection is amazing (at least in the Kids' section)! And the sheer number of author visits they have is staggering; I'll be going at least once a month for author readings, just for children's literature.
In fact, the reason I went today was to see Cokie Roberts talk about her new children's nonfiction book, Founding Mothers: Remembering the Ladies. (I'll "review" the book in a separate post.) The talk itself was informative, of course, but what I thought was really great was the contingent of school children from various neighborhood schools who were there on a field trip. (I never thought about taking students to the local bookstore for author visits. When I worked in a school library we had a great local bookstore within walking distance of the school. Not being a teacher, it never occurred to me that I could take a group of kids to see an author ... ah well, it's an idea I can pass along to my former co-workers and my replacement.) Roberts clearly saw the children as her main audience and directed questions at them and let them ask questions first.
[Roberts signing a copy of her book for Maya]
[the 2014 ALA YMA winners on display downstairs in the Kids' section]
I ended up browsing the Kids' and YA (PG-15) sections for an hour or so after Roberts's talk. I know they carry books that would be harder to find at B&N (and my library, which I love, but the system is kinda slow about acquiring newly published books) so I'm looking forward to frequenting the store to read through the newest and best in children's literature.
I got a one-year membership even though there's a good possibility I won't buy enough books to "break even." But I want to support indie bookstores and if that means upping their membership numbers and giving them $25, I'll do that. (FYI: They'll be instituting a frequent buyer program later in the year.)
Politics and Prose
5015 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20008